Does a romance book have to have "mature content"



Well, I guess this is just a damned if you do-damned if you don’t. I am comfortable either way but started to question if I was going to add it, when not really necessary, just because it seemed to be the trend.


That’s never a good reason to add anything, in and of itself. And with something as charged as “mature content”, if you ain’t feeling it, your readers won’t either. :monkey_face:


Absolutely not. I think people tend to overlook the fact that there are couples that don’t have sex before marriage. They can be fully in love and do other romantic things, without that need.
That also goes for teen-fiction/romances. It’s always just assumed that sex is the entire plot when that’s not always life.


No it does not have to be graphicly described in your story. In mine I’m not going to go into detail for the sex scenes, you don’t have to. I think it’s better to let the readers imaginations fill in the blanks.


Romance can be maintained without sex at all. I’m writing a Christian romance so my characters are going to wait until after they’re married. For me that makes love stronger because they’re willing to wait and base their relationship on something other then the physical.


nope, sex ISN’T always in romance, Teen romance is one example (Except there were some sex scenes but not that graphic in “Vampire Diaries,”) even adult romances can be without sex. Sex is just adding onto the much more intimate scenes in the books.


I agree. I read some of all of it. Just preference.


I don’t think you have to at all! But I would write something indicating that your story is more PG-13 in your story’s summary. As a reader, I’m ONLY looking for stories with mature content, so I think it would help to be up front and let readers know what they are going to get before they get too invested. But really, either way will make a great story!


No, not at all. The graphic sexual content a lot of recent romance stories have is rather off-putting and unnecessary. It isn’t even romantic, everything building up to it is, but that doesn’t mean it has to end that way. Honestly, the better romance stories, imo, are the ones that aren’t mature.


I like romance at any age, as long as its done right. If it feels real and doesn’t piss me off all the time, im down with it


We see eye-to-eye on that detail then. I romance novel has to be realistic in its development before it can consider other options.


In my opinion, no, I like a steamy story but it doesn’t have to have it to make a good romance. I also like to read about two characters just falling in love. :heart:


Just because a book is labeled romance, it doesn’t mean you have to put in sex scenes or detailed sex scenes. If you don’t want to, then don’t add it.

My romance novels tend to be PG-13, so I don’t go into detail with sex. In fact, my previous romance novel, Taste of Italy, didn’t even have a sex scene. There was a potential one, but it wasn’t fully described and they were interrupted.


My romance novels tend to be PG-13, so I don’t go into detail with sex.

I completed my book and took a lot of the advice from this thread to heart. I did leave out the graphic sex scene since I felt it was not needed. The romance could stand alone. While taking the mature content off, I reviewed the terms for this.
Since there was a kidnapping for the purpose of sex, I had to put it back on.
I don’t want a reader to expect to find something in the book that is not there, but had to follow the guidelines.
Could this be considered a PG-13 and if so how would I rate it as such?


If you either watched or read the “Twilight” books and/or movies (Shitty books/movies by the way…sorry shrugs) but yes breaking dawn had sex scenes in it but just your work(s) it wasn’t detailed to transforming it into Rated-R so yes you’re good! :ok_hand: :smile:


Very true! Once I started looking I have found plenty of examples off not having to write too much into the scene with it not taking away from the romance.
And I agree with the Twilight books/movies. :-1:


Yes! :slight_smile:


Sex scenes don’t have to be graphic. I do tend to leave it more to the readers’ imagination with certain romance stories. Others with a mature content are also gritty and hard hitting in parts, so a more graphic sex scene fits better. It’s horses for courses. If you feel, as an author, that a sex scene does not fit a particular piece of work…then follow your instincts, because it probably doesn’t.


You could always go for it or do the whole “fade to black” type of moment if you don’t really want it.


If you don’t want to do it, don’t. I feel like I can tell when reading a mature scene if the author only wrote it to please the readers. There just isn’t as much heart in it as there is in the rest of the story.